E H 1,2. Deprecation. The tongue. J c1 3,4. Comparisons. d1 5,6. The tongue. c2 7. Comparisons. d23 11,12. Comparisons. H 13,14. Exhortation. Behavior.
1 My brethren, be not many teachers, knowing that we shall receive the greater condemnation. (Judgment starts at the top.)
2 For in many things we all stumble (hard not to do). If any one offend not in word, the same is a perfect man, and able to bridle the whole body also.
3 Behold, we put bits in the horses' mouths, to the end that they may obey us; and we turn about their whole body.
4 Behold the ships also, which though they be so great, and are driven of fierce winds, yet are they turned about with a very small helm, wheresoever the impulse of the helmsman (the one who directs, or makes straight) wishes.
5 Even so the tongue is a little member, and boasts great things (it better be the Word of God). Behold, how much wood and how little fire a kindles!
6 And the tongue is a fire, the world (used here in the sense of aggregate) of iniquity: so takes its place the tongue among our members, the one defiling the whole body, and setting on fire the course of nature; and being setting on fire of hell. (Gossip will do this.)
7 For every nature of wild beasts, and of birds, and of serpents, and of things in the sea, is tamed, and has been tamed by human nature:
8 But the tongue can no one of men tame; it is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison.
9 With it bless we God, even the Father; and therewith curse we men, which are made after the similitude (Gen. 1:28. Ezek. 1:10. Dan. 10:16,&c.) of God.
10 Out of the same mouth proceeds blessing and cursing. My brethren, it is not fitting that these things should be so.
11 Does a fountain send forth out of the same hole sweet water and bitter? (No!)
12 Can the fig tree, my brethren, bear olives? either a vine, figs? (No!) neither can salt water bring forth fresh.
13 Who is a wise man and endued with knowledge among you? let him show out of his good behavior his works with meekness of wisdom. (Humility, humble before God, not man.)
14 But if you have bitter envying and strife in your hearts, boast not, and lie not against the truth (God's Word. He wont tolerate it.).
15 This wisdom is coming down not from above, but is earthly, sensual, demoniacal.
16 For where envying and strife is, there is commotion (or, unrest) and every evil work. (See John 3:20.)
17 But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable (peace must not be sought at the expense of truth), gentle, and easy to be entreated (easy to absorb), full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy. (See Rom. 12:9.)
18 And the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace by them that make peace. (When done God's way.)